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Old 02-03-2011, 09:02 PM
bjutus bjutus is offline
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Default Phonak PFE or Panasonic HJE900 = Grado SR60?

Hello!

sorry about the weird thread subject hehe i don't know if those IEM's are even comparable to the SR60 with regards to sound but anyway, i'm no expert and i'm just looking for good earphones that "sound like" or have similar characteristics as my SR60s because I'm so used to them already.

The phonaks are not sold here locally so i don't have any chance of sampling them. I was able to try the HJE900s but they sounded...how should i say this....ordinary??? or maybe just not the same as the SR60s which i have gotten used to. i also didn't have too much time to listen to them because the shop clerk was beside me the whole time. might try again next time.

so if there is anyone who owns 3 of these phones or tried them, maybe they can point me in the right direction?

I use a Cowon D2 and use the BBE and EQ settings to boost the bass a bit for the SR60. I listen to mostly metal (prog, heavy, power) but i'd like the phones to be good at everything of course. if it helps, what i like about the SR60 is the detail (i can hear the instrument separation and how loud each instrument is being played. like the sound isn't coming to me in one big wave where i'm hearing everything at the same intensity. i sound like i'm on drugs hehe). don't like too much bass because it tends to drown out everything.

o yeah, and the SR60s also sound great with a PSP so i might also use the phones on the PSP too.

thanks!
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Old 02-03-2011, 09:34 PM
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Satellite_6 Satellite_6 is offline
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You'll probably want something more forward sounding than the HJE900's - they're fairly laid back.
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Old 02-03-2011, 11:05 PM
bjutus bjutus is offline
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i see. so that's what laid back means
so are the phonaks forward sounding too? i hear they have good clarity. is that the same as forward sounding?
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Old 02-04-2011, 11:00 PM
Monoglycer Monoglycer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satellite_6 View Post
You'll probably want something more forward sounding than the HJE900's - they're fairly laid back.
Really? I find the HJE900s to be one of the more aggressive phones i have heard.
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Old 02-05-2011, 10:22 AM
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^ This is what I love about this stuff. There is NO right answer!

I personally find the Panas just right - front and center with certain kinds of music, but overall, very very easy and simply super fun to listen to...
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Old 02-05-2011, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjutus View Post
i see. so that's what laid back means
so are the phonaks forward sounding too? i hear they have good clarity. is that the same as forward sounding?
I don't know about the Phonaks. To me froward/laid back just means how engaging the headphones are.


"Really? I find the HJE900s to be one of the more aggressive phones i have heard."

Agressive meaning loud highs and lows yes, I guess some people find that engaging, but the way the HJE900's reproduce music was pretty boring to me - and I'm used to Sennheisers. FWIR Grados are very forward sounding so I very much doubt he would like the HJE900's.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:37 PM
bjutus bjutus is offline
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thanks for the replies guys!

yup, when i tried them the HJE900s were "aggressive". i tried them with the same D2 EQ and BBE settings as i use on my SR60s and there was plenty of bass. a little too much for that setting though because the SR690s don't have that much bass so i turned the EQ off and then i heard the high treble that everyone was talking about.
the loud bass and the high treble could probably be fixed via EQ settings but what i didn't hear on the HJE900 was the SR60s detail (what i described on the first post about being able to hear each instrument blah blah). i'll try to listen to the HJE900 again if i have time and try to adjust the EQ also.
another thing, what does hi-fidelity mean? because i've heard the SR60s being described that way. are phonaks hi-fi phones? how bout other phones ?
basically looking for an IEM because the SR60s are not really portable.
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Old 02-06-2011, 05:03 AM
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I wouldn't call the Phonaks portable - in the sense that they are not ideal for 'on the go' IEMs. Where they really excel is late at night when all is quiet; in that scenario they are awesome - the detail is excellent. When I really want to concentrate on the fine nuances of some good music, on go the Phonaks (or my ATH-D50s if I'm not in bed).

But on public transport, or even just walking down the road, they are wasted IMHO. I use my Klipsch S4s when I'm out and about, simply because they seal better, the bass is more in your face when competing with external noise like traffic, and I'm not constantly fretting that I'm getting the best out of them.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:45 PM
bjutus bjutus is offline
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there's the magic word yey +1 for the phonaks for detail. have you tried the SR60? would you be able to say that the phonaks have the same detail? or even better?
portability for me is just being able to put them in my bag or pocket. sorry if i wasn't clear. it's also ok for me if the phones don't seal very well (which is also why the open SR60s were ok for me). i don't use them too much when im moving anyway. i need to hear it when somebody tries to warn me about a car that suddenly loses control and is coming right at me i only use them when i have to stay in the same spot for a long time like on a train or while waiting for someone. even then i'm not picky about the seal.
i can't seem to find anything about the ath-d50...
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Old 02-06-2011, 09:20 PM
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Owning the sr60, and having auditioned the hje900 for a couple of weeks, I found the panas to have a higher level of detail than the sr60. It wasn't a subtle difference. Maybe the hje900 sound signature isn't right for you. That being said, the 900 sound better at low listening volumes, so if you have the chance to try them again listen quietly. And keep an open mind. Just because you enjoy the grado sound doesn't mean you can't enjoy other sound signatures as well.

And as for the ath-d50, I think selectertone meant to say the ath-m50. I have a review of them in the headphone reviews subforum, and there are plenty of other reviews and impressions around here.
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2011, 09:59 PM
bjutus bjutus is offline
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yup <opening mind> i will try the HJE900 again and lessen the bass on my EQ because the last time i listened to it all i heard was the bass or the high treble when flat. kind of biased with the phonaks though because of their clarity/detail/whatever i don't know anymore haha and that editor's choice badge hehe
the ATH-M50 are not IEMs hehe but i'll try them too if their available for testing.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JxK View Post
And as for the ath-d50, I think selectertone meant to say the ath-m50.
Oops! Senior moment! You are of course correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjutus View Post
there's the magic word yey +1 for the phonaks for detail. have you tried the SR60? would you be able to say that the phonaks have the same detail? or even better?
Sorry, never tried the SR60s, however, I can say that the Phonaks have almost as much detail as my ATH-M50s, which are studio monitor headphones - built for transparency and detail.

Last edited by selectortone; 02-07-2011 at 04:36 AM. Reason: spleling
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2011, 04:49 PM
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Hi there,

I actually own/owned all 3. sr60/pfe/hje900. So ill chime in with some of my thoughts but bear in mind it might be completley different for you.

After having a buying my first expensive iem many years ago at 17 (shure e2c) after a year or so i got the grados to use at home. To me they were a real jump up from the e2c, everything was fuller good bass (clean) bass and loads of detail.

That was almost 8 years ago now and the 60's did me well up until last year when i sold them and bought the Allessandro MS1. I had bought the pfe in late 2009 so had plenty of A/B comparison with them and the 60s. 2 months ago i took the plunge and added hje900 to my setup thinking i would use them for my more manic music (ebm/industial electro etc) and the pfe for detailed listening (schubert/andrew bird/vanessa mae) while still having the Allessandro for home.

So even though I cant compare them side by side right now ill explain my process with the phones and just in the past hour i did a quick a/b test between pfe/hje the source i used for this is the same i used to use with the grado's to try and get an even playing field (although the 60's are purely from memory).

SOURCE

Ipod classic 5th gen w/ rockbox and fiio e5


PFE

When I got the pfe it was like a whole extra level with the detail and just the music sounded beautiful. Highs were perfect as were the mids (if anyone has them give Andrew Bird Anonanimal in flac a go) however with the pfe and the black filters in the bass was lacking .... not bad but not prominent just very clean but not in your face and when switching to tracks with more boom for example Tiesto Sunrise just didnt sound as engaging as i would like a problem i never found with the 60's. To that end i would say if your looking for classical lighter music the pfe's are perfect but if you, like me, switch to extremes the pfe are maybe not for you.


HJE900

I dont care that im about to sound like a pana nuthugger right now but these things are a truly amazing piece of kit. They're full, rich and extremely engaging handling everything i throw at them from jazz, classical, rock, pop and industrial. A few tracks can leave vocals, not recessed, id say the bass and highs are more prominent. They are extremely good with detail and are not far lacking behind the pfe (although they are behind). It is the overall sound and just the way they make me feel, i use them at night now before going to sleep and never have i heard more songs that make a smirk come across my face when the music just sounds so good. It almost takes me back to when i was a snot nosed 14 year old and i truly loved music as i got older i kind of lost intrest but theres something about the panas that just make me love it all again and to be honest apart from in the past hour, the pfe have not seen the light of day in 2 months.



SOME OBSERVATIONS

PFE need no burn so when you here them thats it. The panas sounded screech and shrill to me at first, a good 100 hour of burn in and the sound is perfect.(maybe the set you listened to hadnt been burned)

The panas can be worn over the ear and in fact are very comfortable.

Didnt notice it till the other day but theres a tiny brail dot on the left phone of the hje900. As i mentioned i use them in bed so this is great for the dark. (haha i know not a major point but i like that they thought about this.

PFE tips, to me the pfe sounded best with comply tips......... However i despise that company and theyre ridiculous pricing I was going through a pair of tips every 3 weeks. (additional cost)

The hje900 is virtually indistructable and very good looking whereas the pfe's feel plasticy and dull looking.

I wear my phones over ear (all started with the e2c's) the panas just work the pfe at times can be a pain in the ass with the ear guides falling off the cable.

Finally you can get the PFE PERFECT BASS and then buy a set of the grey or black filter which will save you some money and at the same time you get more ooomph from them but might lack some of the details. The problem with this is you cant change filters like you change track.



There you have my incoherant ramblings if you have any questions im happy to try and help.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:33 PM
bjutus bjutus is offline
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yey finally someone who has all three. thanks for the ramblings shy! abi's awesome!

tried the ATH-M50 and the HJE900 yesterday.

ATH-M50 first, this headphone is awesome. i didn't know they were studio headphones but when i tried them i realized that they were. the demo was nirvana unplugged in new york and it was like i was on the theater itself. however, i don't need another headphone...yet haha but thanks for the temptation selectortone and ill keep this in mind.

then the HJE900, yes i see now what everyone was talking about. i adjusted the EQ so that the bass and the treble would be ok for me and listened to some of my songs (a santana, a rolling stones, a dream theater, an opeth). it was at the intro of Nightwish's Bye Bye Beautiful, when the piano intro exploded into guitars, where i had a eureka moment smiled and said "there it is!" and knew that i was going to like them too. the sound is of course not the same as the sr60s but the detail is there.

then the PFE. o wait a minute. no PFE i hate it that i can't demo the pfe. HJE900s going to win by default because of this all i know is that the PFE has lots of detail. more than the sr60s as shy said. do they sound the same as ATH-M50 (just to get an idea on how they sound)? because selectortone uses them the same way. but lacking in bass as i always hear. bass is no problem for me since i can just EQ enough of it in. also not a basshead. and its good that its clean bass and not the rumbling one. i'm sure i will like the PFE. but my brain is telling me not to spend on something that i haven't tried yet.

my own simple impressions of the 3 phones are:
PFE - detail galore.
SR60 - a 'fun' type of PFE because of the added bass
HJE900 - different from those above! but also has detail and bass.

so...as someone said in the forums i forgot who...the solution is simple...buy both! haha

initially the safe bet for me WAS PFE because i didn't like the HJE900 on my first try. but after the 2nd try, the HJE900 is the safer bet because i know im going to like it now and it is locally available. excellent build quality is also a plus because i know that it will last until i decide to get the PFE too (when i feel rich again).

i hate this hobby haha where do you guys get the money for all of this haha

thanks everyone for the feedback!

o yeah, there is also this one brand of weird alien looking headphones that i tried in an inconspicuous corner of the store. STAX. i almost cried listening to them but stopped myself and just silently cursed at the crystal clear music that i was hearing haha i'd like to go back there and bring my own CDs, a book, and snacks haha
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:54 PM
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You want strange looking headphones? Check these out!!
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:02 PM
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@SHY: I absolutely concur with your characterization of the Panas.

I have said it before - while I am no expert in this area, to my ears, if I could only afford to have 1 pair of quality dynamic IEMs, a pair that is extremely capable in all sonic aspects, the Panasonics would be it.

Thanks for chiming in.

Cheers from a fellow Pana "nuthugger" lol
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Old 02-08-2011, 12:20 AM
bjutus bjutus is offline
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@Marvin - hehe headphones, gladiator's helmet, scalp and face massager in-one. but he looks happy though so the sound must be good
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
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I have said it before - while I am no expert in this area, to my ears, if I could only afford to have 1 pair of quality dynamic IEMs, a pair that is extremely capable in all sonic aspects, the Panasonics would be it.

Yeh this is exactly the way i should have put it! for me i have no need to go up now unless i consider customs!

Also just to note that this isnt just my flavour of the month after i got the pana's i tried (bought and sold again re0, super fi 5 and shure 425 all of which sounded great but the panasonic and the pfe are still here which i guess says something......................... and even then my PFE are going up for sale in the near future because they just aint getting used.

Bjutus what country are you in?
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:22 AM
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^ Hey Shy...these days in Hong Kong, but I will always be a native NYCer at heart
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:03 PM
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i'm in japan
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